Unforeseen Consequences - Chapter 5

Jul 26th, 2018
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  1. >It has been five days since the company took away Eris. Three since they locked you up in this orphanage and about five hours since you were awakened by a loud alarm and forced to attend to class.
  2. >The clock marked 2:00 p.m. but it really didn’t feel like it. The white classroom had no windows, only a buncha light bulbs that made everything feel empty. Almost fake, like you were trapped inside some limbo where time doesn’t exist.
  3. >It’s funny, at first you only could think on how much you missed Eris, which you still did, but after these past days, you also came to realize how much you missed the sun too.
  4. >What you'd give to go back to that construction site and take a sun bath like you used to… and to have a good night of sleep. In this stupid orphanage, all lights went out at night, and since your room had no windows, then that meant no moonlight for you.
  5. >It sucked to say the least, and your “classmates” weren’t exactly the best. Bunch of stupid kids who only thought on getting adopted by the richest family possible.
  6. >They loved to act like perfect little foals in front of the company’s staff while being the biggest jerks ever when the adults weren’t looking. Guess there ain’t much difference between these guys and the company’s kids.
  7. >Screw them! That’s why you took your saddlebag and stormed outta the classroom after the bell rang. You weren’t interested in them or becoming one of those filthy rich ponies!
  9. >Besides, you had much more important stuff to be worried about. Like getting everything ready for your escape tonight. Almost everything was ready. You only needed to meet Scrappy behind the courtyard’s dumpsters for the last details.
  10. >Guy was surprisingly efficient. Orphanage’s layout, staff schedules. Scrappy got everything during the first day. His memory wasn’t very good though, it took him a whole day to even remember at what time the staff rolled turns.
  11. >Scrappy was very punctual though, by the time you arrived to the meeting point, he was already there, waiting for you with a big smile on his face.
  12. >“Res! Guess what?!” He said with a cheerful tone “You were right! The chemistry class had all the stuff you wanted! Look!”
  13. >Scrappy happily waved a small rubber sheet above his head while doing a small dance before basically shoving it in your face.
  14. >You chuckled before picking the sheet with your mouth and placing it inside your saddlebag. Then you smiled at him and gently hit his shoulder with your front hoof.
  15. “Of course I was right, man! I read a couple books about this stuff! Now, this is where the tricky part comes. Are you ready or do you want us to chill for a bit?”
  16. >Scrappy firmly shook his head and gave you a small salute “No, sir! We have to do this now, sir! As the Queen always said: “Better take all the opportunities you can or else your enemies will crush your skull!” Pretty cool, huh?”
  18. “Cool? That ain’t cool, man! That’s awesome! Your Queen is the most metal gal ever! Now that I think about it, what’s her name, anyway? You’ve never mentioned it… and I always forget to ask.”
  19. >Scrappy’s smile grew bigger as he proudly said “My Queen’s name is Queen Chrysalis!” Only to be changed for a confused face “And I have no idea what metal means. Is it good? Please tell me is good! I don’t wanna fight you for my Queen’s honor!”
  20. >You couldn’t help but laugh as you placed your hoof around his neck and gently tug him.
  21. “You worry too much, man! It means she’s pretty frickin’ awesome. So, Queen Chrysalis, huh? Can’t wait to meet her.”
  22. >“Oh! Yeah, my Queen is the best! And you know what? I think you two are kinda similar.”
  23. “Really? How so? I don’t have a hive filled with cool dudes like you, y’know?”
  24. >“I mean, you’re obviously not on her level! No one is! But yeah, you are a lot like her. You two are always scheming something! I like that!”
  25. “Well, what do you want me to say? Now I REALLY want to have a talk with this Queen Chrysalis. Bet I could learn all sort of tricks from her.”
  26. >Scrappy eagerly nodded “Yup! Yup! And I bet that my Queen would make you our captain!”
  27. “I’m not sure I’d make the cut, man. Besides, I just wanna go back to how my life was with Eris. Just chill out and scam idiots, y’know?”
  28. >“You loss, I guess…” Scrappy shrugged before he narrowed his eyes at you “Hey! I told you all about my Queen! Why don’t you tell me about your Eris!?”
  30. >You shook your head and rolled your eyes a bit as you walked to the edge of the dumpsters. Y’know, to make sure the coast was clear and all that.
  31. “After we get what we need. Are you ready, man? Because I’ll need you to bring your A-game for this one!”
  32. >Scrappy raised his head and gave you another salute “Sir! Yes, sir!”
  33. >You smiled at him and tossed your saddlebag to the ground.
  34. “Awesome. Now, take my stuff with you and wait for the signal, gotcha?”
  35. >“Sir! Yes, sir!”
  36. >With nothing more of a chuckle as a reply, you walked outta the “hiding spot” and into the courtyard, where all the foals in the orphanage were playing around.
  37. >Your original idea, was to just start some trouble. Y’know, tease a bit, maybe get a little rough but nothing major. You just wanted the attention from the staff.
  38. >Thing is, as you were walking through the courtyard, there was a little something that caught your eye.
  39. >“I-I already told you! I-I had no idea that those weren’t the right answers!”
  40. >It was an earth-pony filly being bullied by a pack of bigger, and kind of snobbish looking group of foals.
  41. >“Liar!” A unicorn filly yelled at the colt “You set us up so we would have the lower grades in the class! But guess what, bucko?! You are gonna need more than that to get adopted over me! And you know why?!”
  42. >“B-Because we still have another exam left to do?”
  43. >“No!” This time, a pegasus colt was the one who threatened the other guy “It’s because I’m gonna shove your stupid math test down your nose!”
  45. >You stared at the scene for a bit, and you weren’t alone in this. There was a more or less big crowd that had gathered. None of them did anything for the colt, it was the opposite.
  46. >They all laughed at that the group said to the filly, and even threw insults of their own. Maybe you were wrong about this, but those guys were the top dogs.
  47. >Y’know, the most popular kids or whatever. Who cares? This was actually the best opportunity to carry on with your plan, and gosh darn it! You couldn’t let this stuff to continue! Not on your watch!
  48. >Without really thinking what you were doing, you adjusted your goggles and galloped to the group of bullies, managing to tackle one in the process.
  49. >After gaining back your composure, you smirked at the bullies and said with a smug tone.
  50. “What’s the matter? Can’t handle another…! UNGH!”
  51. >You were bucked right in the face by the same guy that you tackled. It hurt a lot, and it was more than enough to bring you down to the floor.
  52. >“Hah! Is that all you got, new guy?”
  53. >The rest of those guys said other stuff, but you really couldn’t real understand a thing. It was all muffled noises to you. Among this spinning haze, you saw something red falling to the floor. It was your blood.
  54. >You tried to wipe it with your shaky hoof, but the darn thing just kept coming. There was a good thing that came outta this mess though.
  56. >When you looked up again, the filly wasn’t there anymore. She had ran off to who knows where. At least you helped someone. That little feeling of satisfaction didn’t last at all, though.
  57. >A couple of those guys started to push you around, yelling stuff that came off as more noise for your ears. Noise and mocking faces, that’s all you could understand, and it made your blood boil like never before.
  58. >At that point, you didn’t care anymore. You head butted one of them and once he was on the floor, you just continued to stomp him non-stop.
  59. >You didn’t care when his friends came to help. You just started to buck like a mad horse. You didn’t care when the staff came to separate you. You bit the guy’s hoof so hard that he dropped you. The only thing you cared was to win that fight.
  60. >All of that rage stopped once the little device on your hoof started beeping like crazy and delivered the biggest shock you’ve ever felt. So much that it made you start losing consciousness.
  61. >The last thing you saw was the foal that you were stomping. He had a black eye, blood coming outta his nostrils, and was yelling something at the staff ponies while pointing his hoof at you.
  62. >… … …
  63. >… …
  64. >…
  66. >This time it was a bit different from the other times you were knocked out. You had a dream. In it, you were in a familiar looking alleyway with your parents. The sun was setting down and the heat was unbearable.
  67. >You remember them looking down at you. They weren’t sad, angry or disappointed. No, they just showed indifference. Like they were just throwing out the trash.
  68. >“Res…! Res…! Come on…! Wake up…!”
  69. >You tried to stop them. First you yelled at them, but no sound came from your mouth. Then you tried to gallop to them, but your hooves were glued to the ground.
  70. >You couldn’t do anything but see them happily walk away while you were left alone with your tears in the darkness.
  71. >“Wake up…! Something came out…!”
  72. >As you sobbed, the alleyway started to quickly fall apart and disappear until nothing but a white empty field remained. That’s when you saw Eris standing a few feet away from you.
  73. >She was looking up to the white sky. To the sun and the moon that shone upon both of you. You tried to stand up and hug her, but you couldn’t do anything as she turned to you with a smile and said “Why the long face, dork? Everything is gonna be just fine…”
  74. >Right after she said those words, Eris started to dissapear into the white light that kept getting brighter and brighter “I’ll be waiting on the other side. So dontcha think to keep me waiting too long, a’ight?”
  77. >“RES!”
  78. >You were suddenly awakened by Scrappy, or rather, by the water that he poured on you. Your first reaction was to yell at him, but the guy looked so worried that there was no way you could do that to him.
  79. >That said, your entire body hurt a lot. And touching your face didn’t give you many good prospects. So you groaned and plopped back on your sturdy bed
  80. “Geez, man! Can’t you give me five more minutes? I feel like I was hit by an airship.”
  81. >Scrappy let out a tired sigh and frantically shook his head “An airship? No, no! You were hit by a hoof! Well, lots of hooves! And then you were hit by an electric shock!”
  82. >You rolled your eyes as you let out another groan.
  83. “I know, man. I was there, y’know?”
  84. >“Me too! And lemme tell you! You are terrible at fights, but boy you don’t give up! Heh, heh! You bit that stallion’s hoof so hard that they had to put a lot of bandages on it! I’m telling you, Res! My Queen definitely would love to have you as her captain!”
  85. >You were about to tell Scrappy how much you weren’t in the mood for this conversation and to leave you alone, but, there was something that caught your attention.
  86. “Man! Look at my goggles! Those idiots screwed them up for good!”
  87. >Scrappy tilted his head and asked a bit confused “I mean, they are not as bad as your face, but you definitely feel worse about those things. Why? I don’t understand”
  88. >You took off your goggles and with a heavy sight and a couple tears that you quickly wiped off, you held the goggles against your chest.
  89. “Eris gave these to me when we first met. They are the only thing I had left from her.”
  90. >“Oh! Well, I can tell you feel a whole lot of love for her. What is this Eris? Is she like your Queen? Where is she?”
  91. >You kept silent for a couple minutes, just staring at your broken goggles. Then, you got off your bed and put your broken goggles back on.
  94. “Nah! It’s not like that, man! Eris, well, she’s my big sister, or well, the closest thing I ever had to a real family. She’s pretty cool, y’know? Smart, strong, beautiful. I bet you’d love her… but she’s a non-pony, and you know what the company does to them. That’s why I gotta escape this place, so I can find her.”
  95. >You felt like more tears were coming as Scrappy patted your back, but you quickly shook off that feeling with a heavy sigh.
  96. “So… did you get that thing?”
  97. >Scrappy dashed off and brought your saddlebag in the blink of an eye. He then proudly smiled and gave you a salute “Sir! Yes, sir! Everything you asked for is inside the saddlebag!”
  98. “Awesome, did anyone see you?”
  99. >“Pffft! What?! Of course not! I’m a professional changeling! Those ponies didn’t suspect a thing!”
  100. “I didn’t know there were pro changelings, but alright. Good job, my friend.”
  101. >You let out a chuckle before opening your saddlebag. Inside of it there was all you needed for the escape. The rubber sheet, a high security ID card and the most important thing, the stupid remover for the shocking device attached to your hoof.
  102. >For the first time since you got here, you could finally feel true and genuine hope.
  103. “Scrappy, I dunno why you keep saying I’d make a good captain, because you’re the best! Heck, you even manage to smuggle some cupcakes! Awesome! Now, what do you say if we start working on this?”
  104. >Scrappy vehemently shook his head “I think we should wait for a bit. There’s something we need to do first.”
  106. “What?! What the heck are you talking about…?!”
  107. >Your questions were immediately answered by a mare speaking through the speaker in the room. While she definitely wasn’t a pre-recording, the way she said things definitely made you feel like it was.
  108. >“To all the members of our family. This is the third call. Please step outside your rooms and adopt and keep a standing attention position until the costumer has reached a decision. Please be aware that, regardless of your current status, disobeying this order will result in a harsh penalty.”
  109. “Client? I-I don’t… Scrappy, w-what’s going on?”
  110. >You didn’t know why, but the announcement made you feel extremely anxious. Like the world was about to fall apart or something.
  111. >Luckily for you, Scrappy was there and despite how naïve that guy was, he actually managed to calm you down. “Some pony family came to adopt a foal. Don’t worry, Res! There’s no way you’ll be selected. Ponies don’t like foals who look like mashed potatoes!”
  112. >That kinda felt like a backhoofed compliment, but… who were you to argue with the truth? You didn’t have a mirror, but you were absolutely sure that you got beaten up like no tomorrow.
  113. >So feeling a bit more confident that nothing would go wrong, you simply rolled your eyes and shrugged.
  114. “Tch! This is gonna delay our plan for a couple more hours, though. Whatever, let’s finish with this garbage so we can go back to work.”
  115. >Scrappy frantically nodded as saluted you again “Sir! Yes, sir!” He then adopted a more relaxed posture along with a warm smile “Uh… and thanks for telling me about your Eris! We’ll save her and my hive! R-Right?”
  117. “That we will do! Now, let’s go before those idiots decide to fry us!”
  118. >With renewed hopes and morale, you and Scrappy left the bedroom and waited outside, where the rest of the foals stood just like the announcement lady ordered... as well as a lot of the orphanage’s staff. Way more than what you thought would be.
  119. >You thought it was funny how serious every foal was taking this. With the exception of occasional foal who quickly groomed their mane or coat, they all stood motionless, almost like those mannequins you often saw at the shop district.
  120. >What took the cake is that you could see the group of idiots that kicked your teeth in standing a couple yards away from you. None of them looked especially hurt. Only one guy had a couple bandages and patches on him, but that’s it.
  121. >They totally saw you, but didn’t dare to come and finish the job. Instead, those guys just glared at you with snobbish faces. Tch! Buncha cowards.
  122. >You were hoping that this wouldn’t take too long, but after thirty minutes of waiting, those hopes were starting to be replaced with pure and adulterated annoyance. Seriously, why the heck were they taking so long?! Just pick a foal and get out already!
  123. >After the forty minutes mark, you grew tired and decided to go back to your bedroom. It’s not like you’d be adopted anyway.
  124. “Screw this, man! I ain’t staying here anymore!”
  125. >“Wait!” Scrappy whispered as he grabbed your hoof “Where are you going, Res? They’re coming already”
  126. >You’d have shaken him off, if it wasn’t because Scrappy was looking super serious, or that’s what you thought. There was something about Scrappy’s face that really worried you.
  127. “Hey… is everything alright with you?”
  129. >Scrappy narrowed his eyes and his body became tense “I’m not sure. There’s something about this that feels… weird. It’s like… I dunno, Res, but I think that family is bad news”
  130. >You wanted to ask him more, but as you were about to open your mouth, you could hear voices coming from down the corridor. The first one was a mare who you didn’t recognize, but the other…
  131. >A glacial chill ran down through your spine as you prayed to the heavens that whoever was with the mare wasn’t the stallion you were thinking of. That you were just imagining things and everything would be alright.
  132. >That chill transformed into pure fear and anxiety once the two ponies came into view. It was the creepy middle-aged stallion accompanied by a well-dressed mare.
  133. >You wanted to gallop as far away from there, but the fear made sure that you couldn’t even lift a hoof.
  134. >So with wide eyes and cold sweat, you saw how, despite the mare doing her best to introduce the foals, stallion rejected every single foal the mare presented to him with a cold attitude.
  135. >He was actually very fast at that. The stallion would quickly say something like “Too boring” or “Too stiff” or in the case of the guys who beat you up “These simply won’t do.”
  136. >When they finally reached your place. The mare first tried to introduce Scrappy, but the stallion once again shunned her off with a short “Too shifty.”
  137. >“I think we can skip this one.” The mare said in reference to you “He’s too problematic for someone of your…”
  138. >“I like this colt. He looks like there’s some potential in him” The stallion interrupted her as a wide grin started to appear on his face “Pray tell, what’s the name of the little guy?”
  140. “Mind your business, man! I ain’t interested!”
  141. >The mare looked absolute shocked for a second, but she quickly tried to apologize “I-I’m sorry, sir! He’s just a bad apple! I’m sure you will find a foal more suited for…”
  142. >“I’m sorry, but did I ask for your opinion? No? I asked you for his name, right? So you better tell what I want to know, or my bits and I will walk out of your orphanage and find someone who can do their job.”
  143. “Go and hug a cactus! I don’t care about your stupid bits! Better yet, why don’t’ you take them and stick them on your...”
  144. >“R-Resonance!” The mare gulped “His name is Resonance! He was picked by a patrol at the…”
  145. >“Excellent!” The stallion interrupted as his grin widened “Bring the papers and wrap the colt as a gift, because I’m taking him!”
  146. “What?! NO! I’m not gonna go anywheeeaaagh!”
  147. >Before you could continue protesting, the little device delivered a shock so strong that you dropped to the floor in pain.
  148. >“I strongly suggest you to reconsider your decision…” The mare said before the stallion shot a mean glare, making her to back down “But, if that’s what you want, then I must tell you that the paper work will take a couple days at best, and that I’m obliged to…”
  149. >“Neither me nor my benefactors are interested in waiting. So, how about this? If you manage to speed up the process so I can take the colt with me tonight, then I shall pay ten times his regular price, plus you will receive a more than generous bonus for your services.”
  151. >“About this bonus… how much are we talking about?”
  152. >“Take the price of your most expensive colt and multiply it by seven. That’s more or less half of what you would be getting.”
  153. >The mare’s eyes opened wide as she started to lick her lips “A-Alright, sir! I can’t do this immediately, but… the time right now should be around 10:00 p.m., right? I can get the papers you want by 12:00 a.m. does that sound okay to you?”
  154. >“That’s what I wanted to hear.” The stallion chuckled “Now, what do you say if we go to your office so we can discuss the finer details of our deal?”
  155. >As those two started to leave and you finally were able to stand up, the stallion quickly leaned closer to your face and whispered “You have two hours. More than enough to show what you are made of. So please, do not disappoint me”
  156. >You didn’t know what the heck that guy was talking about, but you weren’t gonna stand around to think about it either.
  157. >To make things worse, Scrappy was now panicking harder than you were “R-Res! T-This is bad! That guy just…?! How could he…?! Res, what are we going to do now?!”
  158. “We’re gonna get the heck outta here. That’s what we’ll do!”
  159. >As soon as you were back in the bedroom. You grabbed your saddlebag, spilled its contents on the floor and frantically started to work.
  160. >First you took the remover device. It was quite simple, just a rectangular thing with some small claws at one of its extremes and two buttons: Insert and release.
  161. “Okay, Scrappy! Give me your hoof!”
  162. >Even when he was clearly shaking, Scrappy didn’t waste any time “Sir! Yes, sir!”
  163. >With a little “plop” sound, the circular device was removed from Scrappy. You then enveloped part of his hoof with the rubber sheet and placed the device again.
  165. >Of course, Scrappy was incredibly confused by this “Uh… Res? Isn’t the whole point of getting the remover to… you know… remove the shock devices? Why are you putting it back?”
  166. >You started to the same on your hoof as you spoke in a frantic pace.
  167. “Because these things react when we get closer to the doors, right? So that means they must track us down. You could say, 'Oh! But then we can just leave them here and the staff would think we’re still on our room' right? Well, I’ve read a buncha sci-fi stories and they have stuff like these things and they can tell if they’re attached to a pony or not. I dunno if our devices are like that, but I don’t wanna run that risk.”
  168. >“O-Okay? But why the rubber then?”
  169. >At that point, you had removed the device and were quickly enveloping your hoof with the rubber sheet.
  170. “I’ve read that rubber is a non-conductor. That means that if we wear this thing, then the shocks won’t work. Okay! I’m done! Do you remember our escape route?”
  171. >As you put everything back in your saddlebag, Scrappy nodded with and proudly smiled “Yes, sir! We go down the hallway. Use the card on some door and… uh… oh, yeah! Then we escape through the sewer that’s in the staff’s dining hall! That’s it right?”
  172. “That was the plan fifteen minutes ago. Now we’ll need something bigger and better.”
  173. >“W-WHAT?!”
  174. “Sssh! I already have it covered!”
  175. >You dashed to the door and peeked outside of it. Once you were sure that the coast is clear, you motioned Scrappy to follow you outside.
  177. >The two of you went down the hallway, always stopping and hiding when you heard something or Scrappy felt something weird. Eventually, you came across a security post and a gate that was right beside it.
  178. >You let out a big sigh in relief when you noticed that despite your fears, the post was empty and there was no other pony in sight. You didn’t stay still for more than a second as you quickly used the keys that Scrappy stole to get inside the post.
  179. >As soon as you locked the door, you grabbed Scrappy and covered his mouth with your hoof.
  180. “Listen, we’re doing a small… upgrade to our plan. Nothing major, I swear. I’ll pull the fire alarm and we’ll hide here for a bit.”
  181. >Despite Scrappy’s muffled words, you could tell he was a whole lotta confused by this change in tactics.
  182. “Did you see how many adults were during the guy’s visit? We can’t just go through the dining hall without risking to be seen by someone! That’s why we need a big, BIG distraction! So we’ll trigger that stupid alarm and sneak out while all the chaos happens! Alright?!”
  183. >Scrappy jumped away from you and with a big salute and a “Sir! Yes, sir!”
  184. >Another sigh escaped your mouth as you pulled a chair in front of the fire alarm. You really needed to calm down a bit. Sure, that stupid stallion sent you straight into a panic attack, but… yeah, Scrappy deserved better.
  185. >Before you pulled the alarm located in a wall, you turned to... your friend and smiled a bit warmly.
  186. “Hey, man. I dunno how much we’ll have to gallop after this, so… y’know, if you’re feeling hungry, then take some of my love, but not all of it! I don’t wanna get drained again!”
  188. >“Oh! That’s… nice” Scrappy said with genuine surprise before he just shrugged your offer off “But… uh, I’m not hungry!”
  189. “What? Are you sure about this, man?”
  190. >“Yup! Yup! I actually haven’t felt any hunger since… uh, yesterday, I think? I dunno, but don’t worry! I promise I’m feeling good! Even great! No! I’m feeling ama-“
  191. “I get it, man! I was just asking… whatever, let’s get this over!”
  192. >At first, you tried to pull the red lever with your hoof, but the stupid thing was stuck. Then, you used both your hooves! But the lever wouldn’t move. That’s when you finally gave up and bit the darn thing so you could hung from it.
  193. >That actually worked. As you fell on your back, all the lights in the orphanage immediately turned red and the sprinklers started doing their job.
  194. >Soon after that, you could hear tons of hoofsteps coming from all directions as the announcement system ordered to go to the designated safe place
  195. >You and Scrappy didn’t waste any second in hiding below the security post’s control panel, where the two of you waited in painful silence until no other pony could be heard.
  196. “Alright, Scrappy. I need you to transform into a security pony and tell me if the coast is clear.”
  197. >“Sir! Yes, Sir!” Scrappy saluted you before getting engulfed in a green flame and following your orders “I don’t see any other pony here!” he said after a couple minutes “Should we go now, Res?”
  198. “You don’t need to ask, man!”
  200. >The two of you quickly rushed outta the post and used the ID card on the gate, and every other gate that you encounter during your mad rush to the dining hall.
  201. >The place was… well, it was a dining hall but without windows. You didn’t care about stopping and admiring the incredibly generic architecture. Your aim was centered to get to the kitchen and open that stupid sewer.
  202. >As you galloped to your objective, your hopes started to come back. You imagined getting out of the sewers and being greeted by the moonlight. You could almost feel the wind caressing your fur as the morning sun melted away all your fears.
  203. >Your heart started to sing at the mere thought of being one step closer to get Eris, your dear sister back. To tell her about the prison you had to endure and the unlikely friend you made.
  204. >Your mind started to think on how this Chrysalis would look like, and everything she could teach you. You could basically see Scrappy jumping in pure joy after getting his Queen back… and maybe the captain he has been so insistent about.
  205. >This and all sorts of wonderful things rushed through your mind in the spawn of a second… and they were destroyed as fast as they came.
  206. >Because before you could reach that kitchen and lay your hooves on the sewer, on your freedom. A staff pony, jumped from the shadows to destroy your hopes and dreams once again.
  207. >“Hold it right there, you two!”
  208. >It was an earth-pony, but not a particularly tough looking guy. In fact, he looked quite anemic, and those bandages around his front hoof didn’t do any favors for his image.
  211. >Scrappy was frozen, he didn’t really know what to do other than looking at you like he was expecting that you’d have some ace under the sleeve.
  212. >“This is a restricted area!” The staff pony said as he started to get closer and closer “Only staff members are allowed in here!”
  213. >“Res…” Scrappy whispered to you, still frozen in fear “What do we do now?”
  214. >You narrowed your eyes at the staff pony and with a might grunt, you kicked off the ground with your foreleg.
  215. “Tch! You give up too easily, Scrappy! I don’t care what that wimp said! We’re escaping this glorified prison right now!
  216. >“Wimp?! Who you calling wimp?! Lemme tell you kid, I’m… oh! Wait a minute” The staff pony narrowed his eyes at you “I know who you’re! You’re that stray who did this to me!” He said as he showed you his bandaged hoof.
  217. >You smirked at the guy and threw a little taunt.
  218. “What, you didn’t like my autograph? Don’t worry, I can give you a better one!”
  219. >The staff pony quickly took out a remote controller-like thing from his uniform and cackled “Now you’re in for a world of pain, kid!” But his smile faded away when the shocks never came “Oh, for the love of…! Does anything ever work in this stupid place?! Bah! Whatever! I’ll just drag you to the bedrooms and finish my cider after!”
  220. >You were more than ready to take the guy on a fight, and it’s not a lie when you say that’s what would have happened if it wasn’t for Scrappy.
  221. >At some point after the staff pony showed up, Scrappy must have regained his courage, which wasn’t a bad thing at all, the problem is that your friend wasn’t exactly the best thinker out there.
  223. >“H-H-Hey k-kid, w-what is that thing?!" Because even when it worked to scare the staff pony to the bony, you weren’t really sure that transforming into his original changeling form was a good idea.
  224. >“I’ll bite your face off if you don’t get out of here!” You did have to admit, that Scrappy was doing a great job at being scary. He even almost got you for a moment.
  225. >You looked at the guard and with a huge, menacing smile you said to him.
  226. “Hey, didn’t you hear what my friend said? Get lost, man!”
  227. >The staff pony looked at you, then at Scrappy and then galloped to the door screaming at a radio he took from his uniform “GUYS! GUYS! WE HAVE A CODE BLACK! BRING YOUR FLANKS OVER HERE!”
  228. >“YOU WON’T ESCAPE!” Scrappy tried his best to catch him, but the staff pony locked the door right in your friend’s face.
  229. >Of course, Scrappy smashed his head in the floor and with a little “Thud!” He fell on his back. That didn’t seem to really affect him, though. Scrappy rolled on his belly and with a bright smile he said “I got that guy good, right, Res?”
  230. >As you helped Scrappy to stand up, you chuckled and shook his head.
  231. “Yes, my friend, but let’s get the heck outta here before something else…”
  232. >You didn’t even get to finish your sentence before a new and more ominous alarm was set off. This time there wasn’t any announcement system giving orders, only red lights and the sound of many hoofsteps coming your way.
  234. “…Happens? Scrappy, let’s open that stupid sewer and pronto!”
  235. >The two of you quickly rushed behind the kitchen counter and to the sewer entrance that was way in the back. Needless to say, you didn’t waste any time when you finally got to it.
  236. “Darn it, Scrappy! Hnng! Pull harder!”
  237. >“Sir…! Yes… sir!”
  238. >As the two of you finally managed to start opening that stupid sewer, the door of the dining hall was abruptly opened, and with that, you could hear voices, the kind that you heard from the patrols’ radios and the like.
  239. >“This is squad B-034. We have breached the perimeter. No sight of the target. Request orders”
  240. >“Squad B-034, this is orphanage 17 command. Search for the target and the stray. Concussive force is authorized. More reinforcements are on the way.”
  241. >It was there when you came to a realization that sank all your hopes like lead. There was no way for the two of you to escape without the patrols knowing it. One had to remain and act as a distraction for the other to get his freedom.
  242. >So, with this mind and once the sewer was opened, you tried your best to keep your emotions at bay while you gave Scrappy a new order.
  243. “Scrappy?”
  244. >“Yes, Res?”
  245. >You took a deep, heavy sight and whispered to him
  246. “…You go first, alright?”
  247. >“Huh? Why me?”
  248. “Don’t question me, soldier! This is an order from your captain, understand?!”
  249. >Scrappy’s eyes shone when you said that as he gave you a big salute and the biggest smile you’ve seen from him “Sir! Yes, sir!”
  251. >You didn’t say anything. Not when he hugged you, not when he jumped down, and not when you closed the sewer behind you. You simply couldn’t, it was too painful to think on what you had lost on that moment.
  252. >But as the patrols came closer, your sorrow became frustration, and frustration became an anger that was too big and too wild to contain.
  253. >You could feel heart beating a hundred miles per hour when you galloped back to the dining hall and how your blood boiled when the patrols quickly raised their blasters and surrounded you.
  254. >“This is Squad B-034! We have found the stray! I repeat, we have found the stray!”
  255. >You didn’t care about anything else anymore. You had lost everything and at this point, you were sure that there was no way to get it back. The only thing left for you was to go down in the only way you knew. With a big fight.
  256. >You closed your eyes and let out the biggest roar your lungs allowed as you charged against the patrols. Which… was admittedly, a bit funny considering what happened after you managed to get a hit on a patrol.
  257. >You didn’t bounce back, or got beaten, or shot or anything stupidly dark like that. Nope, the patrols all fell down like cardboard cutouts.
  258. >Well, that ain’t exactly the truth. All the patrols fell, that part is true, but it wasn’t because they were “like” cardboard cutouts. They fell because they now WERE cardboard cutouts.
  259. >You didn’t really need to go into detail about how freaked out you were by this, or the fact that all the lights in the dining hall were snuffed out except for this weird spotlight that hung above you, or how your heart skipped a bit when you heard that voice again.
  261. >“I’m not going to lie. While I did expect an interesting outcome, I certainly wasn’t prepared for this level of spectacle. Given my nature, I don’t consider myself to be someone who is easily impressed, so bravo, young Resonance! You certainly lived up to my expectations!”
  262. >It was the creepy stallion, well, kind of. The voice was definitely his, but… he wasn’t a stallion anymore. No, the guy looked like… like Eris, except way older, uglier, larger and instead of mane, he had this goat beard that he kept caressing.
  263. >So you were standing in front of a bonafide draconequus, inside a completely dark room, with a spotlight on you, and the only thing you could think on saying was.
  264. “I-Is this magic? Please tell me it’s magic…”
  265. >The draconequus rested his head on his paw, and gave you this sort of half amused, half smug look “The answer is kind of obvious, don’t you think?”
  266. >As the embarrassment of you dumb question grew, you felt your cheeks getting warmer. That said, this didn’t prevent your excitement to bubble up.
  267. “So this is actual magic?! AWESOME! Man, y-you have no idea how much I… ah… I-I think this is not the time… so, w-who are you again?”
  268. >The draconequus raised an eyebrow “Now this is curious…” He then started to move in circles around you in a kind of serpentine way. You find this funny since sometimes, Eris liked to coil around you like a snake “Any other pony who witnesses my powers for the first time tends to, let’s say, have a less than elegant reaction. So tell me, child, how comes you are not scared of my powers… or me for that matter?”
  270. >For some reason you found his question funny, so much that you started giggling as you put your broken goggles back on.
  271. “What kinda question is that, man?! I’ve always, ALWAYS wanted to see magic with my own eyes! I’ve read a lotta about all the sick stuff ponies could do with it! And... Do I have to be scared of you? Sure, you’re one creepy fella, but you’re a draconequus, right? Well my sister is one too and she’s the best! You’re not as cool as her, but I dunno… I don’t feel like you’re bad either, Mr. uh… what was your name again?”
  272. >You really didn’t lie about that last part. Now that this guy had gotten rid of his creepy disguise, there was something about him that made you feel comfortable, safe even.
  273. >The draconequus caressed his white beard and chuckled a bit before patting your head “That was… quite the weird answer. I like that. My name is Discord, spirit of chaos” He said as he gave you a courteous bow “The honor is all yours, of course.”
  274. “Man, that name’s too long! I’m just gonna call you Discord!”
  275. >With a hearty laugh, Discord patted your head again and nodded “Of course, of course! I’m not exactly a big defender of formalities, after all”
  276. “So, Discord… Can I ask you a question?”
  277. >“Ah, so we have finally reached the Q&A segment! Of course, child! What do you want to know?”
  278. >You didn’t answer outright, instead, you looked back, to where the kitchen was supposed to be. Then, you let out a sigh and looked up to Discord as some tears started to form in the corners of your eyes.
  280. “Could you… use your magic to help Scrappy? Guy can be a bit on the dumb side of things, but… I-I just don’t want him to… get busted, y’know?”
  281. >Discord raised an eyebrow as he looked at you with half surprise and half bafflement “That’s your first question, child? Really? Nothing about what I’m doing here, or why I have been following you, or why I choose you for the adoption?”
  282. “That’s important too, but… p-please, Discord! Scrappy is in a lotta danger a-and he helped me a lot, and he really deserves to go back to his Queen!”
  283. >“Calm down, now. I was simply… wondering what your reasoning could be. To answer your question. Yes, I can easily do what you ask and much more.”
  284. “Like… saving Eris?”
  285. >Discord playfully rolled his eyes and chuckled “Child, I possess powers that go beyond your imagination. Getting that young rascal out of her forced vacations is absolutely within the realm of my capabilities.”
  286. >It was hard to explain how happy you were at that moment. Discord’s words felt better than getting bits or stealing a good meal. You simply couldn’t contain your joy as you started hopping all over the place while saying
  287. “Yes! Yes! Yes! Discord, you’re so awesome, man! Yes! Yes! Yes!”
  288. >Discord rolled his eyes and shook his head before stopping you with paw “I understand your excitement, but there is something else that I must tell you. I can indeed save your friends, but just like everything in this life, it comes with a price.”
  290. >That was… kind of a bummer, but you didn’t care at all. This was too good to let go.
  291. “Sure, man! I’ll do whatever you say! Steal something, Scam someone? Just name it!”
  292. >“I like your attitude, child, but trust me, it’s nothing that extreme” Discord snapped his talons making a bunch of papers to appear floating next to him “See this? It’s the documentation of your adoption. Signed by all corresponding parties and approved by this ghastly orphanage.”
  293. “So... what you’re saying is that I gotta agree with this? Sure, man! For Eris and Scrappy I’ll be your kid. You’re already awesome in my book, anyway… Oh! Maybe you can take Eris in too! I bet you’re gonna love…!”
  294. >Discord gently placed his paw on your mouth and cringed a bit “Don’t take this the wrong way, I like you and that young rascal of Eris, but, me? A parent?! Oh, no, no, no! I could never do that! Trust me, I’m simply not compatible with the family life.”
  295. >You tried to say something, but you simply couldn’t for some reason. It was like your mouth was sealed.
  296. >Meanwhile, Discord just looked at you with a kinda smug look “No, you see, I just signed these papers in name of my… benefactors and nothing else. Now those two… I’ll just say they are a special kind of ponies, which is why they need a special kind of foal. This is where you and my deal come into stage. I will save your two friends, but only if you accept the adoption on your own free will”
  297. >This all started to sound incredibly shady, like you were stepping into a mine field… but you didn’t care. You’d do whatever for Scrappy and Eris.
  299. >Whatever magic prevented you from speaking was now gone. So you looked Discord right in the eye and said.
  300. “Okay, I accept the deal, Discord, and you know what? I’ve been living in the slums all my frickin’ life. Whoever those ponies are, they won’t be a problem to me, man!”
  301. >Discord let out a small sigh, he then gently touched your goggles with talons, fixing them in an instant “There is really no need to think like that, young Resonance. I’m not dragging you to the pits of Tartarus or anything like that. These two ponies who will soon become your new parents… I’m not their biggest fan if I must be honest with you, but they are far, far from being evil, and while I don’t ask you to love them, I recommend you to be more receptive and as ponies say, give them a chance.”
  302. “I… I-I don’t promise you anything, but I’ll try. So, will you save my friends now?”
  303. >Discord smiled and snapped his talon “It’s done. Your friend Scrappy is now out of any danger. As for Eris, I’m sure you want to see her as soon as possible, but her case is… a little more complicated than what you may think.”
  304. “WHAT?! C’mon, man! What kinda deal is this?!”
  305. >“Now, now! Before you jump into rushed conclusions, let me clarify that while her safety is more than guaranteed, it will take a while for you to see her again.”
  306. “But… but why? I just wanna see my sister again!”
  308. >Discord patted your head once again “I know, I know! But you have to trust me on this one and be patient. You will eventually see your sister again”
  309. “D-Do you promise?”
  310. >“Young Resonance, I swear it for everything I hold dear.”
  311. “A-Alright, I believe you. I dunno why, but I believe you.”
  312. >“Excellent! What do you say if we leave now? This world is starting to get quite dull.”
  313. “Uh… before that… can I ask you another question?”
  314. >“I don’t see why not? What do you want to know this time, young Resonance?”
  315. “Why me? You said these guys are special and whatever, but… I’m not that special, or… very good y’know? I’m just… well, me.”
  316. >Discord turned his back on you and chuckled “Oh, young Resonance! Trust me, I wouldn’t say that at all. As for why I picked you… call it a hunch.”
  317. “A hunch? A-And what did it tell you?”
  318. >“That with you in the game, things are going to get really interesting” With another snap of his talons, Discord basically opened a portal to... who knows? It was too bright to see a thing “Cheer up, young Resonance. After all, a new life awaits you in the magical land of Equestria.”
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